by Julian Spivey
Sacha Baron Cohen is probably better known for stunts than he is for acting, which is almost a shame because he proved late last year in Martin Scorsese’s 12-time Oscar nominated film “Hugo” that he’s a damn fine actor. However, I’d be willing to bet that more people actually know Cohen by his character names Borat and Bruno instead.
Cohen is somewhat of a comic genius in that he’s actually revolutionized the comedy genre by adding almost a subgenre of prank films where he subsumes a character’s identity and essentially becomes that character for the purposes of the film – including the promotion aspect of it.
Cohen’s style of comedy and the promotion of it has been one that’s been controversial over the years and now that controversy has seeped into tonight’s Oscars telecast.
As a member of the year’s most nominated film, “Hugo,” Cohen is naturally attending the Oscars. Well, Cohen wanted to walk the famed red carpet at the Oscars in character as his new alter-ego General Aladeen from his upcoming summer release “The Dictator.”
Upon hearing Cohen’s pans the Oscars essentially said: “thanks, but no thanks.” This is pretty much where the controversy starts as the Oscars refusing to allow Cohen’s character on the red carpet started a media uproar that was fueled by Cohen’s Dictator exclaiming that the Academy would be sorry if they didn’t give him his Oscar tickets … you know Cohen had to love the fact that the Oscars turned him down.
The Oscars have long had a snobbish and stodgy image in the eyes of many. Barring Cohen’s Dictator from the event just goes a long way in proving that theory. I’ve never had a problem with the Oscars before, but I definitely feel they need to lighten up when it comes to Cohen’s Dictator on the red carpet. Maybe this is because I don’t like people telling other people what they can and can’t do, but Cohen appearing in character wouldn’t hurt a thing, in fact it’d likely only make the Oscars more entertaining.
Thankfully it appears that the Academy has finally relented and will allow Cohen to appear on the red carpet tonight as the Dictator. The Academy’s change of heart is probably more related to the mass media attention that Cohen has gained from being denied the chance to show up as the Dictator thus gaining potentially more viewers tuning in just to see what he says or does, than realizing that they were wrong to begin with.
Personally, I’m a fan of rebellion when it comes to harmless things that shouldn’t be barred. I know that rebellion is also something that Cohen must revel in. Even though the Academy has relented and decided to let Cohen on the red carpet in character I hope Cohen essentially tells the Oscars to go fuck themselves in all his outlandish Dictator glory on tonight’s telecast. Make sure you tune into the red carpet special before the Oscars, because Cohen will probably have something defiantly hilarious up his sleeve.